BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

Materials
  • - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Thread
  • - Velcro Loop Tape
  • - Cord
  • - Rods
  • - Bottom Bar
  • - Rings
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Tape Measure
  • - Needles
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • Options
  • - Invisible Marker
  • - Velcro Hook Tape
  • - Screw Eyes
  • - Acorn
  • - Cleat Hook
  • - Cord
  • - Staple Gun
  • or
  • - Headrail Kit
  • - Hacksaw
  • Step 6: Make Up Face Fabric
    Printable Worksheet
    Printable Worksheet

    CHECK & PRESS YOUR FABRIC

    Included in this video
    • Why we mark the bottom right side of the fabric
    PLAIN, STRIPED and PATTERNED FABRIC are treated differently at this stage Select your fabric type.

    PLAIN FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

    1. Cut the plain fabric to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (Finished Blind width + 10cm)
    2. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
    3. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
    4. Cut the TOP of the fabric straight and at a true right angle (6cm trimming allowance in Fabric QTY for this)
    5. Check the fabric is at least the length of the FABRIC CUT DROP (Finished Blind Length + 16cm). The panel will be trimmed it to the correct length later in the process when making the header.

    STRIPED FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

    1. Decide where you want the stripes to be placed on the blind.
    2. Cut the Striped fabric to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (Finished Blind width + 10cm), making sure the stripes are in the correct position on the panel.
    3. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
    4. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
    5. Cut the TOP of the fabric straight and at a true right angle (6cm trimming allowance in Fabric QTY for this)
    6. Check the fabric is at least the length of the FABRIC CUT DROP (Finished Blind Length + 16cm). The panel will be trimmed it to the correct length later in the process when making the header.

    PATTERNED FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

    1. Work out where you want the pattern to be on the finished blind.
    2. PRO TIP: The position of the pattern is more important at the top of the blind than the bottom.
    3. Cut the fabric panel to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (finished blind width + 10cm) so the pattern will be in the correct position horizontally on the blind.
    4. Keep the pattern central and in the correct postion by removing fabric from each side.
    5. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
    6. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
    7. Decide on the pattern where you want the TOP of the blind to be and draw a straight line in this position across the blind at right angles to the sides. Make sure there is at least 7cm of fabric above this line (heading allowance). Check there is at least (blind length +9cm) of fabric below the line.
    8. You have a pattern repeat to achieve the cut in the right place at the top of the panel.
    9. Note You have more than 7cm above "TOP of blind line" this is normal with a patterned fabric, you trim it off later when you form the heading in STEP 8.

    PLAIN, STRIPED and PATTERNED FABRIC are now treated the same.

    TURN IN SIDE TURNS

    • Place the fabric right side down and fold in the side turn allowances of 5cm either side.(pin and press).
    • Check the width is the finished width of the blind all the way up the length of the panel.
    Included in this video
    • How to deal with linens and fabrics with movement

    ATTACH VELCRO TO THE TOP

    • Place the fabric right side up
    • Mark down from the top of the panel 7cm which will be the position of the bottom of the velcro.
    • Draw a line in vanishing pen to mark the bottom of the velcro. Note this line marks the top of the blind - you will have marked this already if you have cut patterned fabric and may have more than 7cm of fabric above the line (you will trim it later when making the header).
    • Cut a length of velcro slightly longer than the width of the blind.
    • Open out the side turns. Machine stitch the velcro onto the fabric in line with the line of vanishing pen and above it. (Stitch the bottom, top and sides of the velcro - do not stitch onto the side turns)
    Included in this video
    • How 2cm velcro differs from 5cm velcro

    CUT FABRIC TO LENGTH & MARK THE HEM

    • Place the fabric wrong side up
    • Fold the side turns in and pin in place.
    • Fold the velcro over at the top and pin in place. This fold is the top of the blind.
    • Trim away any excess velcro from the sides of the blind.
    • Turn the fabric over and press the top fold.
    • Remove the side turn pins
    • Measure down from the top and mark in vanishing pen the finished blind length and the 9cm hem allowance across the width of the blind.
    • Also mark 4cm up from the bottom of the hem allowance to mark the first fold in the hem.
    • You will have 3 marks, one marking the bottom of the blind, one marking the bottom of the hem (where we cut the panel) and one 4cm up from the bottom of the hem.
    • Draw 3 lines across the width joining up the marks.
    • Cut along the bottom line.

    FORM THE HEM

    • Place the fabric right side down
    • At the bottom, fold up the 9cm double hem (4cm + 5cm) along the line that marks the bottom of the blind and press.
    • Press to form the hem.

      EXTRA INSTRUCTIONS

    If you are using 2cm velcro rather than 5cm velcro stitch the vecro on as in the instructions above. You will have 5cm of fabric above the velcro. Depending on whether you are using bucram or not any excess fabric will be trimmed off later in STEP 8.

    Your Questions & Comments

    Anne

    Hi, I have a fabric with a large pattern to make 2 roman blinds that will hang near each other. The fabric is 137cm wide and the finished width of one blind (the wider one) is 138cm. I don't want to add a plain border at the sides. Should I reduce the width of the central panel to make the strips at the side wider? You seem to suggest doing this only with plain fabrics.

    Thanks.

    SewHelpful:

    Dear Anne

    Very funny that this question should come in now as I am actually making blinds that are a very similar size without contrast border. The blinds that I am making are outside the recess I have some flexibility in the size. 

    If yours are inside and have to be the exact width then you will have to add widths either side, there is no getting around this. As to whether or not you should reduce the central panel, this is a personal decision. If you have a small horizontal pattern repeat, then this is a possibility but if not, then having a central panel of less than 120cm might look odd and is not something I would do. 

    As I am making blinds outside the recess, I am slightly extending the width in order to accommodate the join and give me at least 5cm beyond the join. Sometimes you have to make a judgement call and go with what you think is best.

    Cindy

    Jane F

    I was wondering if I should cut the selvage off before measuring the width of the fabric and cutting. If I include the selvage will it distort the blind?

    SewHelpful:

    All in the videos

    Phoebe

    Hello,

    I have just realised that I have cut my face fabric too short. This is because the ends were not fully straight and then I cut them to make them straight.. and then after realised I didn't add the 5cm cutting allowance :-( .

    My Fabric Cut Drop: 140cm + 9cm Hem Allowance + 5cm Heading Allowance.

    Since cutting the ends straight I have a length of 151cm. I only have 11cm for hem and heading allowance when it should be 14cm.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you, your site is great.

    SewHelpful:

    Don’t worry 

    mistakes like this happen so it’s just trying to work out how best to proceed. I would suggest…

    Just looking at your measurements, I am not sure why you were originally working with a 9cm hem allowance? You should start with double 8cm (on sill length), giving you 16cm at the bottom and 5cm at the the top.

    So, you have left yourself really short on fabric. Your only option is to go for a very shallow hem (leave 4 cm for top allowance and us remainder for bottom hem). I still recommend a double fold as, when light penetrated the curtains, you will be able to see the first shallow fold through the fabric (unless a heavy weave).

    You could add a contrast plain fabric along the bottom but this requires more expense and can be quite hard to find the right coordinating fabric.

    Good luck with the rest of your project.

    Kind regards

    Cindy

    Amanda

    Just purchased and watched your videos to make my first blind. They look great and very easy to follow. I've gone to start and found my fabric is shorter (width) than advertised. Am so disappointed. If I leave the selvage on, it will just be wide enough, would this work or do they have to be cut off? Thanks in advance.

    SewHelpful:

    No you don't have to cut the selvedge off. If it is pulling the fabric tight at the edges we sometimes snip it to ease the tension.

    Alison

    Your instructions are brilliant but I have a problem!My check patterned material has a warp to the weave. ie I have cut and measured using lines of the checks so pattern looks straight BUT I find now I do not have right angles in corners. I can either have top and bottom pattern in alignment (horizontal lines) with sides of blind compensating for warp, or side/vertical) pattern parallel and top/bottom squiffy! what do you suggest? I have 3 to make (2 next to each other 46 x 85cm and 3rd 119 x 107cm)all in recess of windows so need to fit properly. Help!

    SewHelpful:

    We have mentioned this before in an answer. We would always avoid using a check pattern for a blind for this very reason. However as you have the fabric already all we can suggest is that you go for which way you think looks best and decide now before you spend a lot of time making the blinds up whether you will be happy enough with them when you are finished. 

    If it is really bad sometimes the best option is to save the check fabric for another project and select a more suitable fabric . 

    With Blinds stripes work well, checks do not. 

    Sue Bauer

    I am making a Roman Blind with symmetrical circles. Should I ensure that I have a full circle at the top of the blind or the bottom. The top will obviously be on show all the time whereas the bottom will only show when it's fully down. What is the correct method? Many thanks

    SewHelpful:

    There is no correct method it always comes down to a design decision. We do exactly as you say though when making a blind. We place the pattern in the best position at the top of a blind as it will be on show all the time.

    Blind with Circles

    Julie

    Hi, I am making 4 blinds for a large square bay window. The front window is made up of 4 sections and is 286cms wide by 170 drop. The sides are 90cms wide x 170 drop. I thought about making 2 separate blinds for the front 143cms each. Unfortunately this will mean attaching a small amount of fabric to each blind. I notice that you suggest attaching a strip either side of the blind to balance it, but this doesn't seem logical in my situation. I had thought about using the surplus cut off from the return windows and attaching this to the outer edge of the two windows which would mean the two blinds at the front would be balanced overall. It would also mean I could save on extra widths of fabric. Do you think what I suggest is ok? Or do you feel there is a better alternative. I would prefer not to have 4 blinds across the front as I don't feel this will look as nice as just 2.

    I think I have read that the lining should be joined horizontally, not vertically - is this correct?

    Wait to hear from you. Many thanks.

    This website is so helpful.

    SewHelpful:

    You can make the blinds with the join in the fabric however you like, it will not affect how they work. But as we say in the tutorial if you need more than one panel, we always make a balanced blind with a centre panel and equal fabric either side. (we just think it looks better made). With such a narrow strip on either side if you are using plain fabric you can always make the centre panel slightly narrower and the edge strips wider if they really are too narrow.

    The lining is joined the same way as the fabric. If you have a wide blind with a short drop (not in this case) you can use the lining sideways to avoid having to make any joins. The other thing that can be a pain with joined lining is the rods getting stuck when you pass them through the lining joins in the rod pockets. You dont have this problem if you use rod pocket tape.

    We have 3 blinds going through the workshop at the moment all 143cm wide each with a 127 centre panel and strips either side of 8cm.

    143cm blind


    Samantha

    Hi, this tutorial is great and I am going to buy the videos soon as I have all the material ready. I have a question: I can't see anywhere on this tutorial how to cut "on grain" the fabric. Cutting on grain pulling the thread is one of the many ways, I tried and sometimes it's very difficult (thread can break easily so I take forever to cut it). DO you have any tricks to suggest? And also: I don;t have a huge table where to cut the fabric: having a big working space does the difference or, with some tricks, it's possible to do it on a regular table (100 x 140). thank you

    SewHelpful:

    All the techniques we use for measuring, cutting, and getting the blind square are shown in the videos. We obviously have a large table in the workroom with long Tbars,  but in the videos we take into account most people will have to work on a smaller table at home or on the floor. So we don't just use our big perfectly square table and Tbar to get it straight, we show you how to do it with the tools you will have.

    Annette

    Hi

    My fabric is a geometric pattern and if I cut according to the pattern on all 4 sides, the panel is not square, it hangs slightly skewed to one side - by about 1 cm from top to bottom.

    As the top is always on show, is it then best to correct the 2 long side edges so it hangs true, and hope the eye does not notice the difference in pattern down the side edges? Thanks.

    SewHelpful:

    It is always a real pain when patterns are not straight, especially when making a blind when you will notice the difference. Have you tried "moving" the fabric so that is straightens up a bit - this is sometimes possible with certain fabrics with a lot of give in them. If there is no give in it, you are going to have to cut the fabric with true right angles accepting the skew in the pattern, there is no other way round it with a blind as it has to be straight. Good luck!!

    Annette

    Wow that's a great tip...thank you!

    Have managed to 'move' it so it's now hanging straight - brilliant!

    Sheridan

    Hi there, I have some beautiful fabric that is heavily patterned and although by sight it looks like the pattern has obvious lines where I could end the blind, when I use the ruler the ends of each set of patterns isn't straight at all. For example part of the pattern is a set of birds so if I set the ruler at the bottom of these it eventually cuts through the third or fourth set of birds horizontally. Any ideas for this? The sides aren't such a problem, well, lets see once I've done the pattern matching!! It's 206cm wide!

    SewHelpful:

    Some fabrics have a lot of give in them, you are going to have to lay it out and try to manipulate it. 

    Morag

    Hello

    Love the tutorial – so clear and easy to follow!

    I am planning to put a 5cm contrasting linen border on the sides and bottom of my linen roman blind. Can you please give me some advice on the best way to do this?

    Very grateful for any pointers you can give me!

    Thanks in advance!

    SewHelpful:

    You will need to make your fabric panel with the borders joined first, leaving enough fabric for the side turns, heading and hem. Join the fabrics with a 1.5 to 2cm seam pressed flat.

    The easy way is to join the bottom panel first then, cut down and then add the sides. The other more difficult way involves mitring the corners where the borders meet. The description of how to do that is a bit too involved to write here.

    Jane

    My fabric does not have a straight selvedge, on either side, to measure in from for my first straight edge - how do I get around this please?

    Many thanks

    SewHelpful:

    If you are following the video for a plain fabric, if the selvedge is not straight, measure in at the top and bottom and join the points with a straight line.

    Linda Mccarthy

    I have a roman blind which is 162cm finished and my fabric is 150cm wide. How do I balance the drops out so I have 2 on each side to make it look balanced? Do I make the middle 137cm but that still doesn't give me much on each side. Any ideas would be appreciated as I want it to look right.

    SewHelpful:

    I assume you have plain fabric. We usually go for about 10 to 12cm strips each side. We lay it out and see what the strips look like and gauage it. 

    Lucy

    Hi, thanks for the instructions. I've watched this video a couple of times but just want to confirm: is the top not cut straight on the fabric either, like the lining? Thank you!

    SewHelpful:

    Thats right, The top is dealt with when you form the heading in later STEPs.

    Rayen

    I have a fabric with a large pattern which runs selvedge to selvedge and the grain is skewed. How do I cut a straight line when the longer length of the blind is not parallel with the selvedge? The blind is 98cm x 232cm.

    SewHelpful:

    This a common problem and you have to work with it and do your best. We  sometimes pull the corner of the fabric to try and move the pattern. It can sometimes spring back though so doesn't always work. The spring back is more of a risk on a blind.

    Linda

    I am making a blind 175cm wide and need to add two side panels to get the width and there is a vertical pattern, I have watched the joining a patterned fabric tutorial and the making up the face fabric videos several times. I am unclear whether I cut away 2cm of selvedge on each edge of fabric being joined or do I just cut into the selvedge and retain them in the seam. Thank you

    SewHelpful:

    It depends on how wide the selvedge is and how bulky the fabric is, Some fabrics have a lot of selvedge others hardly any. Your join will be where the pattern meets then it is up to you to decide if you need to trim the excess. If you do trim leave approx 2.5cm each side .

    Sarah

    Really helpful instructions thank you; so glad I found you! I can't seem to get a right angle on my fabric, even though I've pulled threads in both directions to ensure I cut along the grain. In this instance, do I go with what the ruler says and cut it slightly on the bias, or stick with the weave? I'd be worried that it won't hang straight if it's off the grain slightly.

    SewHelpful:

    Manipulate the fabric as best you can but follow the ruler you need to get the blind square.

    Catherine

    I’m making a Roman blind with vertical stripes but the stripes are not completely straight and I need to join extra fabric on at each side do I make the seam following the stripe or should I draw a straight line and follow that?

    SewHelpful:

    We've never had this problem, we would prefer  the lines on the blind to go straight rather than the seam as that is what will catch the eye more.

    Janet Fletcher

    I have made a few Roman blinds the material I'm using has a set motif when I square tha material the pattern runs of I know it will not hang square if I follow the pattern is there a way to get round this

    SewHelpful:

    We try to manipulate the fabric to get  the pattern square. One method  is to  clamp it to the side of the table and pull it from the corner on the diagonal to bring the pattern up square.

    Some fabrics are better than others to manipulate, there is also the potential of the fabric moving back to it's former shape.

    Marian

    I am making the blind with cotton fabric. It is quite heavy - beach huts style! Is it better to wash it and the lining before I cut it out.

    Your instructions are very clear

    Thank you

    Marian

    SewHelpful:

    We NEVER wash blinds, they are never the same after in our experience. So we would not wash the material and lining before hand. 

    Wendy

    My finished blind will be 174cm wide. I will have a vertical seam either side of the main panel joining the fabric widths together. The fabric width is 139cm so do I only use 17cm (+seams)either side or should I split it more equally?

    SewHelpful:

    If you think it would look better no problem. We probably wouldn't because we find you tend to get a better fabric join at the selvedge edge. 

    Fiona

    I made a small Roman blind last year following your tutorials which were excellent. I was really delighted with it. I'm now going to make one which is 160cm wide. I know I will need to join a panel on either side of the main panel. Should I cut each side panel to the required with (including seam allowances) before joining or should I join panels and then trim to get the required cut width of fabric? Thank you.

    SewHelpful:

    Definately join first then trim down to size afterwards.

    Tracey

    Hi , I am making a blind which is 147 wide and 97 drop , just wondered if you have ever made one with the fabric the wrong way round to save joining , it's a plain cream faric . Is this a real no no . Thanks

    SewHelpful:

    Yes we've done that before lots of times. Make sure you have enough for your heading and hem allowances and that you are happy with how the fabric will look orientated that way.

    Emma

    Hi.

    I've started to have a go at making a Roman blind with contrasting fabric panels as the main fabric width wasn't wide enough. The panels are only 6.5cm (not inc hem).

    My problem is that when the blind has lining in, & is hung in the window, then you'll be able to see all the hems. Should I use blackout lining to hide this (didn't really want to though)! Or have a made the side panels wrong. Should they of been double thickness?

    Oh, I bag style my Roman blinds as I find slip stitch not strong enough when I make it that way.

    Many Thanks

    SewHelpful:

    Yes you will see the seams in daylight (but the blinds are usually down at night ). We wouldn't use double thickness.

    If it really bothers you you will need to insert blackout into the blind to block it. 

    Helen

    Are there tips you could give on how to make sure that I achieve a straight vertical edge on material where the selvedge edges have been partly cut off?

    SewHelpful:

    Use the technique we use in the videos to get the bottom straight but fold along the length rather than across.

    Bec

    My fabric is quite lightweight. Would it be a good idea to iron a thin interfacing onto the back to give the fabric more support. I am also using block out lining. Many thanks.

    SewHelpful:

    Hi Bec that is something we haven't done before and would not attempt ourselves.

    Emma Evans

    Hi.

    Firstly, your website is like my sewing bible and is fab!

    I'm making a Roman blind which is 114.5" width & the drop 50.5"!!! I know you would normally recommend 2 or 3 smaller ones, but I wanted it to flow by having 1 large blind, plus I like a challenge!

    I have squared my 3 widths of fabric & pinned together the pattern match ready to sew. I'm abit lost now though!

    When I have sewed the widths together, do I square the blind again(as best as I can as it's soooooo big) or do I not need to as I squared it before joining.

    Please help, i'm stuck.

    SewHelpful:

    You are going to have to square the whole panel again and get the joins vertical and straight on your squared panel to stop them looking odd when the blind is down. With a 3m wide blind that is not very easy and is why we recommend smaller blinds for the less experienced and those without very large tables, rulers and T bars.

    Bex Stanley

    Hi,

    I am making a roman blind with a spotty pattern on the fabric and the width is 121cm and drop is a wonky from left to right 113.5 / 111cm/ 111cm. I know roman blinds are precise, but do you have any tips on how to make this fit without it looking uneven i.e. my experience is telling me to be even from the top down and then modify at the bottom to accommodate the deepest drop of 113cm. What are your thoughts please? Thank you

    SewHelpful:

    We would make it square and horizontal at the bottom.

    Jane Morrison

    I am making 3 roman blinds for my kitchen(2) and adjoining utility room. All the windows are different sizes. The kitchen windows are opposite one another. Am I best to make the top section the same size for them all and adjust the width of the folds accordingly or does it not matter?

    SewHelpful:

    The 2 in the kitchen, If they are not alongside we would try and get them as similar as possible, a cm or so will not make much difference though. We wouldn't necessarily make the utility blind exactly the same as it is in a different room.

    Jane

    if the fabric is cut too short can you add 9cms to the bottom of the main fabric to create the pocket as the joining seam could be hidden just behind the bottom?

    SewHelpful:

    Yes you can add fabric to the bottom. Indeed sometimes we join fabric to the bottom higher up to create a border at the bottom of the blind.

    Sandra

    When the fabric seams have been turned in, should they be pressed. There is no mention of pressing at this stage.

    Thanks.

    SewHelpful:

    The videos show how we fold and press the sides.

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